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Human polyclonal immunoglobulin G from transchromosomic bovines inhibits MERS-CoV in vivo. - Science translational medicine
As of 13 November 2015, 1618 laboratory-confirmed human cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 579 deaths, had been reported to the World Health Organization. No specific preventive or therapeutic agent of proven value against MERS-CoV is currently available. Public Health England and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium identified passive immunotherapy with neutralizing antibodies as a treatment approach that warrants priority study. Two experimental MERS-CoV vaccines were used to vaccinate two groups of transchromosomic (Tc) bovines that were genetically modified to produce large quantities of fully human polyclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. Vaccination with a clade A Î³-irradiated whole killed virion vaccine (Jordan strain) or a clade B spike protein nanoparticle vaccine (Al-Hasa strain) resulted in Tc bovine sera with high enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and neutralizing antibody titers in vitro. Two purified Tc bovine human IgG immunoglobulins (Tc hIgG), SAB-300 (produced after Jordan strain vaccination) and SAB-301 (produced after Al-Hasa strain vaccination), also had high ELISA and neutralizing antibody titers without antibody-dependent enhancement in vitro. SAB-301 was selected for in vivo and preclinical studies. Administration of single doses of SAB-301 12 hours before or 24 and 48 hours after MERS-CoV infection (Erasmus Medical Center 2012 strain) of Ad5-hDPP4 receptor-transduced mice rapidly resulted in viral lung titers near or below the limit of detection. Tc bovines, combined with the ability to quickly produce Tc hIgG and develop in vitro assays and animal model(s), potentially offer a platform to rapidly produce a therapeutic to prevent and/or treat MERS-CoV infection and/or other emerging infectious diseases.Copyright Â© 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
3B11-N, a monoclonal antibody against MERS-CoV, reduces lung pathology in rhesus monkeys following intratracheal inoculation of MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012. - Virology
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified in 2012 as the causative agent of a severe, lethal respiratory disease occurring across several countries in the Middle East. To date there have been over 1600 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV in 26 countries with a case fatality rate of 36%. Given the endemic region, it is possible that MERS-CoV could spread during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, necessitating countermeasure development. In this report, we describe the clinical and radiographic changes of rhesus monkeys following infection with 5Ã—10(6) PFU MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012. Two groups of NHPs were treated with either a human anti-MERS monoclonal antibody 3B11-N or E410-N, an anti-HIV antibody. MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 infection resulted in quantifiable changes by computed tomography, but limited other clinical signs of disease. 3B11-N treated subjects developed significantly reduced lung pathology when compared to infected, untreated subjects, indicating that this antibody may be a suitable MERS-CoV treatment.Published by Elsevier Inc.
Ebola and Its Control in Liberia, 2014-2015. - Emerging infectious diseases
The severe epidemic of Ebola virus disease in Liberia started in March 2014. On May 9, 2015, the World Health Organization declared Liberia free of Ebola, 42 days after safe burial of the last known case-patient. However, another 6 cases occurred during June-July; on September 3, 2015, the country was again declared free of Ebola. Liberia had by then reported 10,672 cases of Ebola and 4,808 deaths, 37.0% and 42.6%, respectively, of the 28,103 cases and 11,290 deaths reported from the 3 countries that were heavily affected at that time. Essential components of the response included government leadership and sense of urgency, coordinated international assistance, sound technical work, flexibility guided by epidemiologic data, transparency and effective communication, and efforts by communities themselves. Priorities after the epidemic include surveillance in case of resurgence, restoration of health services, infection control in healthcare settings, and strengthening of basic public health systems.
Evolution and Spread of Ebola Virus in Liberia, 2014-2015. - Cell host & microbe
The 2013-present Western African Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is the largest ever recordedÂ with >28,000 reported cases. Ebola virus (EBOV) genome sequencing has played an important role throughout this outbreak; however, relatively few sequences have been determined from patients in Liberia, the second worst-affected country. Here, we report 140 EBOV genome sequences from the second wave of the Liberian outbreak and analyze them in combination with 782 previously published sequences from throughout the Western African outbreak. While multiple early introductions of EBOV to Liberia are evident, the majority of Liberian EVD cases are consistent with a single introduction, followed by spread and diversification within the country. Movement of the virus within Liberia was widespread, and reintroductions from Liberia served as an important source for the continuation of the already ongoing EVD outbreak in Guinea. Overall, little evidence was found for incremental adaptation of EBOV to the human host.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Feasibility, safety, clinical, and laboratory effects of convalescent plasma therapy for patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection: a study protocol. - SpringerPlus
As of September 30, 2015, a total of 1589 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). At present there is no effective specific therapy against MERS-CoV. The use of convalescent plasma (CP) has been suggested as a potential therapy based on existing evidence from other viral infections. We aim to study the feasibility of CP therapy as well as its safety and clinical and laboratory effects in critically ill patients with MERS-CoV infection. We will also examine the pharmacokinetics of the MERS-CoV antibody response and viral load over the course of MERS-CoV infection. This study will inform a future randomized controlled trial that will examine the efficacy of CP therapy for MERS-CoV infection. In the CP collection phase, potential donors will be tested by the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) techniques for the presence of anti-MERS-CoV antibodies. Subjects with anti-MERS-CoV IFA titer ofÂ â‰¥1:160 and no clinical or laboratory evidence of MERS-CoV infection will be screened for eligibility for plasma donation according to standard donation criteria. In the CP therapy phase, 20 consecutive critically ill patients admitted to intensive care unit with laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV infection will be enrolled and each will receive 2 units of CP. Post enrollment, patients will be followed for clinical and laboratory outcomes that include anti-MERS-CoV antibodies and viral load. This protocol was developed collaboratively by King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Infection Control Center Group and the World Health Organization-International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC-WHO) MERS-CoV Working Group. It was approved in June 2014 by the Ministry of the National Guard Health Affairs Institutional Review Board (IRB). A data safety monitoring board (DSMB) was formulated. The study is registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02190799).
Modeling [(18)F]-FDG lymphoid tissue kinetics to characterize nonhuman primate immune response to Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus aerosol challenge. - EJNMMI research
The pathogenesis and immune response to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) caused by a recently discovered coronavirus, MERS-CoV, have not been fully characterized because a suitable animal model is currently not available. (18)F-Fluorodeoxyglucose ([(18)F]-FDG)-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) as a longitudinal noninvasive approach can be beneficial in providing biomarkers for host immune response. [(18)F]-FDG uptake is increased in activated immune cells in response to virus entry and can be localized by PET imaging. We used [(18)F]-FDG-PET/CT to investigate the host response developing in nonhuman primates after MERS-CoV exposure and applied kinetic modeling to monitor the influx rate constant (K i ) in responsive lymphoid tissue.Multiple [(18)F]-FDG-PET and CT images were acquired on a PET/CT clinical scanner modified to operate in a biosafety level 4 environment prior to and up to 29Â days after MERS-CoV aerosol exposure. Time activity curves of various lymphoid tissues were reconstructed to follow the [(18)F]-FDG uptake for approximately 60Â min (3,600Â s). Image-derived input function was used to calculate K i for lymphoid tissues by Patlak plot.Two-way repeated measures analysis of variance revealed alterations in K i that was associated with the time point (pâ€‰<â€‰0.001) after virus exposure and the location of lymphoid tissue (pâ€‰=â€‰0.0004). As revealed by a statistically significant interaction (pâ€‰<â€‰0.0001) between these two factors, the pattern of K i changes over time differed between three locations but not between subjects. A distinguished pattern of statistically significant elevation in K i was observed in mediastinal lymph nodes (LNs) that correlated to K i changes in axillary LNs. Changes in LNs K i were concurrent with elevations of monocytes in peripheral blood.[(18)F]-FDG-PET is able to detect subtle changes in host immune response to contain a subclinical virus infection. Full quantitative analysis is the preferred approach rather than semiquantitative analysis using standardized uptake value for detection of the immune response to the virus.
The lipid moiety of brincidofovir is required for inÂ vitro antiviral activity against Ebola virus. - Antiviral research
Brincidofovir (BCV) is the 3-hexadecyloxy-1-propanol (HDP) lipid conjugate of the acyclic nucleoside phosphonate cidofovir (CDV). BCV has established broad-spectrum activity against double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses; however, its activity against RNA viruses has been less thoroughly evaluated. Here, we report that BCV inhibited infection of Ebola virus in multiple human cell lines. Unlike the mechanism of action for BCV against cytomegalovirus and other dsDNA viruses, phosphorylation of CDV to the diphosphate form appeared unnecessary. Instead, antiviral activity required the lipid moiety and inÂ vitro activity against EBOV was observed for several HDP-nucleotide conjugates.Copyright Â© 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Molecular Evidence of Sexual Transmission of Ebola Virus. - The New England journal of medicine
A suspected case of sexual transmission from a male survivor of Ebola virus disease (EVD) to his female partner (the patient in this report) occurred in Liberia in March 2015. Ebola virus (EBOV) genomes assembled from blood samples from the patient and a semen sample from the survivor were consistent with direct transmission. The genomes shared three substitutions that were absent from all other Western African EBOV sequences and that were distinct from the last documented transmission chain in Liberia before this case. Combined with epidemiologic data, the genomic analysis provides evidence of sexual transmission of EBOV and evidence of the persistence of infective EBOV in semen for 179 days or more after the onset of EVD. (Funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and others.).
Use of Existing Diagnostic Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays for Detection of Ebola Virus RNA in Semen. - The Journal of infectious diseases
Sexual transmission of Ebola virus in Liberia has now been documented and associated with new clusters in regions previously declared Ebola free. Assays that have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and are routinely used to detect Ebola virus RNA in whole blood and plasma specimens at the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research were tested for their suitability in detecting the presence of Ebola virus RNA in semen. Qiagen AVL extraction protocols, as well as the Ebola Zaire Target 1 and major groove binder quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction assays, were demonstrably suitable for this purpose and should facilitate epidemiologic investigations, including those involving long-term survivors of Ebola.Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Diagnostics. - Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
There are 4 families of viruses that cause viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF), including Filoviridae. Ebola virus is one virus within the family Filoviridae and the cause of the current outbreak of VHF in West Africa. VHF-endemic areas are found throughout the world, yet traditional diagnosis of VHF has been performed in large reference laboratories centered in Europe and the United States. The large amount of capital needed, as well as highly trained and skilled personnel, has limited the availability of diagnostics in endemic areas except in conjunction with governmental and nongovernmental entities. However, rapid diagnosis of VHF is essential to efforts that will limit outbreaks. In addition, increased global travel suggests VHF diagnoses may be made outside of the endemic areas. Thus, understanding how to diagnose VHF is imperative for laboratories worldwide. This article reviews traditional and current diagnostic modalities for VHF.Â© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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